Twitter is moving well beyond being a text-based microblogging service, having launched support for photo tagging, as well as increased number of photos per tweet.

Twitter photos

Photos are going to get more social, Twitter says, as the social network starts supporting more photo-oriented multimedia features in tweets. For one, users can already tag other users in photos, something akin to being mentioned in a tweet. The photo limit per tweet has also been increased from just one photo attachment to four.

With the new feature, a tweet can include up to 10 tagged Twitter users. Tagged users will also get a notification that they have been tagged in a photo. According to Twitter, user tags and photos will not be counted against the 140-character limit per tweet.

This is, again, part of Twitter’s strategy to improve engagement among users. Twitter already notifies a user whenever he or she gets mentioned in a tweet, and that particular mention also appears on shared contacts’ timelines. Tagging a photo does the same: a user will get notified of being tagged in a photo.

Twitter earlier included readership statistics and location-based discovery in a bid to improve activity, among other tactics. Improving engagement and activity has become a focus for the social networking service amid threats from chat applications, which are fast turning into social networking platforms in themselves. Recent studies indicate that younger demographics are starting to prefer the simplicity — and privacy — of chat services in connecting with friends, playing games and sharing photos.

Apart from the Twitter interface, photos and tags will also appear in embedded tweets, which gives Twitter added exposure from third-party websites. To get the new features, users are encouraged to download the latest iPhone and Android app.